It was not a happy 2017 for Anurag Thakur. The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s youngest president was sacked by the Supreme Court on Monday after living on the edge since July 2016.
The Supreme Court came down hard on Anurag Thakur and the BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke for not implementing the reforms suggested by the Justice RM Lodha committee in July 2016.
The Lodha committee was appointed in January 2015 to look into the functioning of the BCCI and it was tasked with suggesting changes to its constitution.
The Supreme Court, on July 18, ruled in favour of implementing the Lodha Panel reforms and it gave the BCCI four to six months to implement the reforms.
My statement on the Supreme Court @BCCI verdict today. pic.twitter.com/4zZf44hTgf— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) January 2, 2017
This started a period of defiance in which the BCCI opposed the major reforms and kept defying the Supreme Court.
Here are the 10 areas where BCCI and Lodha panel clashed.
1 BCCI’s opposition to the age cap
The Lodha Panel had recommended that all BCCI and state office bearers must not be over 70 years of age. The BCCI feared that if this rule was implemented, then many state associations would lose their top officials. The examples were Sharad Pawar of the Mumbai Cricket Association, Niranjan Shah of the Saurashtra Cricket Association and N Srinivasan of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association
2 Tenure Cap an area of concern
The Lodha panel had suggested that no official could serve three consecutive terms either at BCCI or state body. The panel suggested that office bearers can hold office for a maximum of nine years with a three-year cooling in between. Limiting the tenure would have resulted in the top brass having limited experience, affecting the routine operations of the board
3 One person one post
The Lodha Panel had said there was a mandatory cooling off period of three years between two terms. The cooling off period meant he could contest in only one post and not in any other subsequent posts, which did not go down too well with the BCCI.
4 One-state-one-vote policy
The major sticking point in the argument. The presence of many state cricket associations meant maximum votes. Maharashtra and Gujarat had three associations and the Lodha Panel wanted to correct the voting pattern in the BCCI that had been victims of over-representation. If one-state-one-vote would have been implemented, then voting rights would have been impacted.
5 CAG in the Apex Panel
The Lodha Panel had proposed including a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the apex council of the BCCI. However, Anurag Thakur and the BCCI believed that it amounted to government interference in the functioning of the board and had reportedly sought a letter from the ICC. However, this resulted in Thakur being charged with perjury.
6 Including BCCI in RTI Act
The Lodha Panel wanted the Indian Cricket Board to come under the RTI (Right to Information) Act. However, the BCCI opposed the move. Thakur argued that the BCCI was governed by the Tamil Nadu Societies Act. It did not take money from the government and it was an institution that was not controlled by either central or the state government. The judges said the BCCI performed a public duty and handled money paid by fans and was thus accountable to the law of the land.
7 Selection committee defiance and holding ‘meaningless’ AGM
After agreeing to hold just a routine meeting, the BCCI staged its AGM and even elected committes. The BCCI appointed a five-member selection panel, which flouted the agreement with the Lodha panel. The announcement of the selection panel was also contrary to the Lodha reforms in which they had requested a three-member panel. They also appointed two first-class cricketers in senior selection panel which was against the criteria.
8 Seperate Governing Council for both BCCI and IPL
The Lodha Panel had recommended separate governing councils for both the IPL and BCCI. Since many state associations have not built a revenue model, the BCCI opposed this bifurcation.
9 One man, one post and no tainted officials
The Lodha Committee suggested one man for one post and ministers and corrupt officials should stay away from cricket. This put Anurag Thakur under pressure. The panel found conflict of interest among officials too.
10 No commercials during live cricket matches
The BCCI vehemently opposed the move. The Lodha Panel recommendation of no commercial breaks during live cricket matches potentially resulted in substantial revenue loss. The Indian Board feared that any restriction on broadcasters would have resulted in reviewing original arrangements. The media rights of the BCCI have been kept on hold.